Discipline, Not Motivation

Time is just zooming by this year. I checked the stats page for WordPress and the last time I wrote a blog was 11 days ago. I don’t understand how it’s been that long but I will write more often.

Yesterday, I sat down and wrote out all the things that require my time. Examples include, work for Bazinga, renovating the house, Invictus Beard, this blog, going to the gym, spending time with family and friends, training Niko, and a few other things that I would like to accomplish. As I wrote out more and more things I was beginning to see what I had already known, I’ve taken on more than I could handle at this moment.

Below that list, I decided to place a list with the most important tasks. It’s a way to prioritize for myself. If I get the things on the latter list completed daily, I know I’ll be in a better position a month, a quarter or a year from now. The challenge is being disciplined enough to complete those tasks.

I’m going to take it easy on myself this time around. I have a tenancy to push to my maximum for a month or so, then begin to slow down and come to a complete halt. I did it with Invictus Beard. I did it with this blog. I did it with many things in the past. I don’t want to do that anymore so I’m taking a different approach.

I was a C student in university. In nearly all my classes, I was right on the class average until the final 2 years. By that time, I realized hard work doesn’t do it for me. I needed a way to work smarter. My friend and I used to send out emails to the entire class saying we would trade notes with them. People would respond and we would get them to send over notes. When we had two people send it over to us then we would send those two each other’s notes and we would keep both sets. I see it as a win-win-win. Everyone had better notes because of it.

If that didn’t work, then we would find people in the library that were studying with the same textbook and ask to study with them. It’s not to say I didn’t take notes in class, it’s just, once I began figuring out a way to work smarter I was more successful. Lately, I feel I’ve been working hard, especially for Bazinga. I’ve finally started to figure out how to work smarter for that too. Create relationships and provide value. Seems simple enough and I’ve always done this but now I don’t just do it for my clients. I do it for other people in the industry that would ultimately be selling to the same people. This way we can share contacts much like I used to share notes.

Before my digression, I was talking about taking a different approach. Of course, I’d like to work smarter but ultimately, I need time to write, I need time at the gym, I need time to work on Invictus Beard. I also know enough about myself to know I prefer working smarter rather than harder. Motivation arises and diminishes too quickly. I don’t need enthusiasm, I need discipline. I mentioned earlier I’m going to take it easy on myself. What I meant by that is, I have about 8 tasks that I’d like to complete each day. If I can get 5 of those completed daily than I’m doing well. Anything less and I’m not working hard or smart. Anything more and I’m a freaking genius. Maybe not a “genius”, but that’s what I’m telling myself.

“Don’t count on motivation, count on discipline.” – Jacko Willink

Maybe it’s because I made the list yesterday but it’s already helping me because I’m writing this blog and it’s currently 07:22. Once I complete this I’ll be 2 out of 8. Not too bad before 8 am.

Motivation can fade quickly for me. I become infatuated with something and go all-out. I try my best for a month or two but then I stop. That’s why I’ve decided to listen to former Navy Seal, Jacko Willink’s advice, “Don’t count on motivation, count on discipline.”

I’m not very disciplined but then again, I’ve never tried being disciplined. At least, not in the way that I’m going to try it now. I have more responsibility today than I’ve ever had in my life. We have a mortgage now. We have Niko. We have wedding coming up. There are reasons to be disciplined now, more than ever.

I can’t give you the advice to “Be disciplined.” I haven’t even tried it yet. It may not work for me, but then again it may work for you. My advice would be, try something different. If you’re unsatisfied with the results then try a different approach. I’m not satisfied right now. My motivation has begun to wear off and I’ve started to put things off. Motivation alone wasn’t helping me achieve my goals, maybe discipline will.

A piece of advice that would be worthwhile is the exercise of making the list. It only took me 10-20 minutes to write down things that required my time and select the ones that I want to prioritize right now. There may be things you are doing daily that are taking up a lot of your time and aren’t producing the results. Examples of things that I cut out of my list was watching TV, this includes all the shows that I used to watch, time on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and Whatsapp.

You may want to make your list more thorough but I understand what I mean by cutting down on those things because I know how much time they can suck out of my day. The hard part is being disciplined enough to avoid those things when I’m sitting at home and working alone. It’s easy to stray but that’s where I need to practice discipline. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

Work towards happiness.

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Author: Mehmet Akcagliyan

I am the Master of my Fate. I am the Captain of my Soul.

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